Monthly Archives: December 2017

Peace (and Joy) Corps Volunteer at Christmas

It makes sense for Santa of course that Armenians expect his arrival not on December 24 but a full week later on New Year’s Eve. This gives the bearded one time to nip back to the North Pole and replenish … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Being a Grandmother, Christmas, Homemade decorations, Homesickness, Jingle Bells, Lonely this Christmas, lucky dip, Party Games | Leave a comment

When your face don’t fit

Last week I was mistaken for the Ambassador of Greece to the Republic of Armenia. I do not know Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Mrs. Nafsika Nancy Eva Vraila, but clearly she is a woman of astounding beauty, with a keen … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Diplomacy, fear, life lessons, Peace Corps, Prejudice, Race, resilience, Safety, sexual assault, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Poetry Please

Gohar Ghazaryan’s  13-year-old students are preparing for 2018’s National Poetry Recitation Contest, reading and analyzing poems by AE Housman, Langston Hughes and Jack Prelutsky. Two of poems are copied below, so you can see just how accomplished these five students are. … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, BBC, BBC World Service, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Language learning, Learning, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Poetry, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, Village life, Youth | Leave a comment

Where Worlds Collide

J’s beautiful face is surrounded by the hijab she uses to cover her hair. Her hijab is the only one I have seen in Armenia. J speaks Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and of course English. She glowed as she talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Christianity, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, International Human Rights Day, Islam, Language, Learning, life lessons, Literacy, Middle East, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nature, Poetry, Religion, Rt, Syunik Marz, travel, Turkey Armenia relations, war, Wilfred Owen, Writing | 2 Comments

Light Fantastic Toe

Life can be particularly tough here in Armenia for people with disabilities. While the oft-mentioned playing field is not equal in the U.S., there is, in most cases, at least a field on which it is possible to play. Here, … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, dance, disability, International Human Rights Day, life lessons, Mihr theater, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, work | Leave a comment

Burn Baby Burn

Aleta is the only person I know who can light an Armenian match. These non-incendiary items come in sad, damp boxes, with inadequate strike pads. Attempt to grip an Armenian match firmly, and its shaft will splinter as it connects … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fear, Fire, Food, gratitude, know thyself, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | Leave a comment